It’s ok to fail

 Failure, it’s such a negative word isn’t it.  But we’ve all done it, anyone that says that they haven’t failed at something has to be telling porkies.  Its only human.

But we can’t talk about failure without talking about success.  What is success?  Schools and society would have you believe that if you don’t do well at school and university, get a high flying job that you’re super brilliant at, own your own house, drive a nice car, have the ‘perfect’ relationship (what even is that?) and beautiful children then somehow you’ve failed. 

I used to buy into some of that and constantly pushed myself to achieve more and more at school and at work until I felt like I MIGHT EXPLODE, and still I felt like I was never measuring up.

I remember when I was sixteen and I hadn’t got a place at the sixth form I desperately wanted to go to (super academic and super competitive, god knows why I did it to myself).  So I cried, and I mean sobbed, for two days straight.  My Mum suggested I have a bath to cheer myself up, but I just sat in the tub with tears streaming down my face.  I was a failure and so disappointed in myself.

Never under any pressure from my parents, but I piled it on to myself because I thought that was what I needed to do in order to succeed in life.

Fast forward 15 years and for the first time I’ve sat myself down and written my own definition of success.

I’m not going to go into it here because- yawn for everyone who’s not me!  But what I will say is that’s its rather liberating knowing that you only need to measure up to your own version of success.  Even then you can’t control each little thing that might crop up along the way, you’ll have obstacles thrown in your path at every turn, that’s nature’s way of helping you to grow stronger, to overcome those challenges and still find your own success. 

Take gardening for instance, yes I had to get it in there somewhere! Gardening is a complete rollercoaster of failures and successes, you can do everything text book perfect when sowing your seeds and still they don’t germinate (can you tell I’m still a bit sore about my delphinium seeds?!).

Green seed tray full of soil but no seedlings and a wooden plant marker saying delphinums

So do you know what I did, I shifted my focus.  I gave up on the seed sowing, accepted my failure and moved on.  I then ordered a load of plug plants (baby plants, literally the cutest thing you ever did see!), potted them up and they are happily growing away bloody perfectly. 

A dark haired woman with red lipstick on poking her tongue out and holding a tiny plug plant in front of her nose.

This highlights another important point, its ok in life to ask for help (I’m not usually so good at this but I’m learning slowly).  I enlisted the help of the very clever people @brooksideplants who it turns out are whizz kids at getting delphiniums to germinate (not jealous at all) and I’m back on my path to success again.

 If you are finding yourself struggling to get started in your garden because you're scared of failing then my online mindful gardening programme can help. You can join the waitlist here.

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